To maintain their tactical edge on the battlefield, today's warfighters need the ability to access and share information from anywhere. Whether using a mobile device or a laptop computer, end users must have a secure, reliable way to access data and collaborate with other users.

Carissa Landymore, the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) cloud storage program manager, said the agency had security, flexibility, and reliability in mind when it began offering milDrive, its new cloud-based storage solution, March 1.

"milDrive is a personal file storage service," Landymore said. "milDrive allows users to store all their files in the cloud. It really ensures warfighters have continuous, reliable access to files without regard to device or location."

The service is compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices and provides access to data via a web browser, mobile device, or desktop app.

Landymore explained licensed users with Common Access Cards (CAC) or Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentials can access files on the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network and share access-controlled, unclassified information files and documents from any device.

From a reliability standpoint, Landymore said one of milDrive's biggest benefits is the reliability and availability built into the service. DISA stores user data in two of its secure data center facilities. Data replication occurs between the two sites, ensuring it remains available to the end user.

Landymore said milDrive is ideal for anyone requiring quick access to their data. It also provides the ability to access and manipulate files and folders offline. Once the user regains network access, milDrive automatically synchronizes their data.

In addition, milDrive's collaboration feature allows users to send files to, and authorize access for, other authenticated users -- even if they do not have a milDrive user license.

"They won't be able to manipulate the data because they aren't a licensed user, but they will be able to access it via a shared URL," Landymore said.

DISA Applications Division Chief Greg Cranmer pointed out another advantage of the DISA-developed service.

"milCloud is designed, engineered, and deployed in DOD-owned and managed facilities, which removes the costly overhead for customers and mission partners to host and accredit local solutions," he said.

The service offers two levels of storage -- 20 gigabyte or 1 terabyte drives for use by individuals or to be shared by a group.

Additional milDrive benefits include:

- Securely shared files and folders.
- Reduced information technology resource and administrative costs.
- Reduced mail server space requirement.
- Full data protection and self-recovery of files.
- Offline access to data.
- Optimized network bandwidth usage.

"DISA is continuing to keep pace with industry as far as enabling users to maintain, utilize, and access data through a cloud environment," Landymore said. "We're making the end user more productive by giving them more ways to access their files."

Landymore will be briefing DOD cloud storage solutions at the AFCEA TechNet Cyber Conference in Baltimore, May 14-16.

For milDrive pricing, contact the DISA Mission Partner Engagement Office. For additional information, contact the program management office at 301-225-8401, DSN 312-375.